Teaching genital awareness to young kids

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Teaching genital awareness to young kids

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Children as young as 6 months of age, will start to play with their genitals. Just as they are learning that they have a fingers, toes, and a nose, they will also learn that they have a penis or vagina. This is completely normal. As your child gets to be a little bit older and is a toddler, they often times, will want to be naked. They want to touch themselves because they are curious, and honestly, because it feels good to them. What you say to your child, the tone of voice you take, the way you look at your child; these are all your child's first lessons in sexuality. It is really important for you to stay calm. To reassure them that it is normal to touch their genitals. As your child gets older, you can teach your child that they can touch their genitals, but they should do it in a private situation. Now, if you child is touching their genitals because they are itchy, red, or uncomfortable, or in pain; that's different. Then you should take your child to a doctor because they have an itchy rash or some kind of infection.

See Sonya Sethi Gohill, MD's video on Teaching genital awareness to young kids...

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Sonya Sethi Gohill, MD

Pediatrician

Dr. Sonya Sethi Gohill is a board certified pediatrician. She obtained her undergraduate degree at Stanford University, where she graduated with honors.  Dr. Gohill then went to UCLA for medical school and her pediatric residency. She works at her own private practice, Brentwood Pediatrics, in Los Angeles. Dr. Gohill is also a certified lactation educator. Dr. Gohill lives in Santa Monica with her husband and their three kids. Her sons, Dilan and Jaiden, are seven and four, and her daughter Tara is eight months old.

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